Wild Connection

Wild Connection

I study animal behavior and I’ve had a bird’s eye view on how reconnecting with nature helps us live better lives. #WildConnection is a fun, engaging, and informative podcast hosted by me, Dr. Jennifer Verdolin, aka Dr Jen. No subject is off limits. You can expect a splash of humor and passionate conversations about humans, other animals, and how we are all connected. Episodes are released on Sundays. #WildConnectionPodcast is hosted by Podbean and available wherever you get your podcasts. Host: Jennifer Verdolin Twitter and Instagram @RealDrJen Get in touch and tell me what you want to hear more about info@jenniferverdolin.com

Episodes

February 11, 2024 48 mins

Today, we're venturing into the fascinating world of science communication, with a sneak peak into how evolutionary genetics can go mainstream. Who better to join us on this intergalactic adventure than, Dr. Mohamed Noor, a true visionary crossing the boundaries of science and science fiction.

He's an evolutionary geneticist based at Duke University and a Darwin Wallace medal recipient. Not only does he unravel the mysteries of lif...

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Picture a world drowning in plastic waste, from the vast oceans to the remotest corners of the Earth. That's our world. It's a challenge that demands our immediate attention and collective action. In this episode, I talk with entrepreneur Peter Okwoko. He's also the co-founder of TakaTaka Plastics a company at the forefront of taking layers of plastic and creating usable construction products. 

He’s inspiring his community and othe...

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January 7, 2024 56 mins

It’s a new year. Maybe you’ve made some resolutions, come up with your next big idea, or are busy fine-tuning your strategy for the year ahead. Success is on everyone's mind, so what better time than now to talk to someone who has cracked the code. That would be none other than best-selling author, network scientist, and visionary, Albert László Barabási, the brilliant mind behind the groundbreaking b...

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December 24, 2023 53 mins

In this episode I have a not so ordinary conversation about climate with best selling author David Gessner and we invite you to think about how to talk through what climate change really means from a new point of view, one that connects us instead of divides us.

David Gessner has written many books but we are talking about his latest one:  A Traveller's Guide to the End ...

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December 10, 2023 70 mins

Let’s talk about hormones. Hormones are so much more than time packages that influence the major events in our lives. We are still learning about some of these major events though in ourselves and other animals. Just a few months again scientists confirmed that chimpanzees go through menopause Here is the NY Times article about the discovery. I was also keen to see the study on chimpanzees since it wa...

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November 12, 2023 49 mins

This week I talk with natural history writer Danielle Clode about her new book Koalas: A Natural History and an Uncertain Future

As famous as koalas are they are still a bit of a mystery. Danielle shares her love, fascination, and a ton of wonderful knowledge about koalas with us. 

If you want to get a copy of the book or keep up with Danie...

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September 3, 2023 52 mins

I know I am not alone in my fascination of octopuses. They seem a little out of this world and they have so many unusual traits. 

My guest today is scientist and author David Scheel. And We are going to talk about his new book Many Things Under a Rock: The Mystery of Octopuses

One of the things that came up in the podcast was the octopus nurse...

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July 16, 2023 60 mins

This is the first episode of Season 4 and I am excited to talk to marine biologist and author Hanne Strager about her new book The Killer Whale Journals: Our Love and Fear of Orcas. She’s from Denmark but has been working with and studying killer whales in Norway for and leading the way in the conservation and education space. She’s also the Director of Content for a project called The Whale, a new mus...

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July 9, 2023 41 mins

Coffee, the thing that so many of us love and crave. That is the topic of today’s show. Today coffee is grown all over the world but it originates in Ethiopia and its history is recounted the mythology of a goat herder who noticed goats became energetic after eating the fruits. If you don’t know anything about goats, they are pretty energetic already so they must have really changed their behavior. We ...

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July 2, 2023 41 mins

Uganda has made great strides in conservation of its wildlife, notably mountain gorillas, but also the captive breeding and ultimate goal of reintroduction of rhinos back into the system. Uganda has also developed a model of profit sharing and others, like my guest Alex Ngabirano founder and CEO of Bwindi Development Network, an anti poaching organization, are taking the lead to create economic alterna...

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June 25, 2023 52 mins

Last week climate refugees came up and this week it’s time to talk about conservation refugees. Many Indigenous communities are losing their ancestral lands for conservation. This week's guest is one of the Indigenous Batwa clan leaders currently living in Buhoma in a settlement at the edge of his former home, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

It w...

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This episode continues my Voices of Uganda series that is part of my Fulbright, since I am well, in Uganda. Back home in the US this week there is a climate change trial unfolding in the unlikeliest of places- Montana. What does this mean, a climate change trial?  In this case it is 16 young people that have sued the State of Montana over their reckless endangerment of their future. The case, Held v. M...

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Voices of Uganda continues this week with Paul Muhwezi. Last episode featured Apophia Asiimwe, a local bird guide. Paul is someone that has worked on behalf of the Buhoma community, has seen the community grow and change, and seen how it has benefitted from tourism. He is on the board of the Buhoma Community Development Association and he is the general manager for lodges, the Rest Camp and Haven Lodge. 

One of the many goals is ec...

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May 21, 2023 37 mins

Today's guest, Apophia Asiimwe, is a local bird guide sharing the wonders of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and all the birds it has to offer. You can find her on Facebook and book directly with her. 

If you are digging the show, give it a like and share it with your friends. Thanks for listening and you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @RealdrJen and the show @wildconnectpod 

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April 23, 2023 48 mins

Welcome back to Wild Connection the Podcast. My Fulbright series  Voices of Uganda continues this week with Mandela Washington Fellow, business owner and entrepreneur Gerard Iga. One thing that folks may not recognize about Uganda is its diversity of natural spaces, wildlife, and culture. Perhaps that is why it’s called the Pearl of Africa.

Gerard specializes in giving visitors a rich and diverse experience of Uganda, sharing his ...

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April 16, 2023 51 mins

This week we are continuing our species series Voices of Uganda with none other than the Chief Warden of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Nelson Guma. We will be talking about what’s so special about Bwindi, what is threatening this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and what it’s like to be in charge of a biodiversity hotspot that is now on CNNs top 20 places to visit.

You can follow Nelson on Twitter @NelsonGuma and connect wit...

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April 9, 2023 37 mins

Hi everyone and welcome back to Wild Connection the Podcast. As many of you know I am coming to you live from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda where I am currently a Fulbright Scholar. Part of my Fulbright was creating a special series voices of Uganda. 

My guest today is Lisa Randolph, author of a marvelous book, The Wildlife Divas Adventure Team: Saving the Endangered Mountain Gorilla. You can keep up with Lisa and the Wildli...

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This week’s guest is Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. She is the founder of Conservation Through Public Health, the author of a new book, Walking With Gorillas: The Journey of an African Wildlife Vet, and currently a finalist for the Indianapolis Prize.

In this episode we talk about her work with the endangered mountain gorillas, her book, which details her journey, and what the future holds for this species. 

For more information on b...

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August 15, 2022 60 mins

My guest this week is Ken Whelan, the Research Director for the Atlantic Salmon Trust. Not only is the work he and others doing revealing just how special salmon are, but his love of fish and commitment to reconnecting communities with the nature all around them is work that we need more of. As you’ll hear, we met at COP26 under a sea of salmon. Enjoy!

 

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July 31, 2022 64 mins

Bees are having a heyday at the moment. I think many of us spent part of our time fascinated by bees and the other part terrified of getting stung. We definitely love the products that bees make, from honey and propolis to many of the fruits and vegetables you find in the supermarket. But bees are so much more than that. My guest this week is Lars Chittka, a Professor in Sensory and Behavioral Ecology,...

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